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loving right now

we’ve been listening to this album Rend Collective Campfire II on repeat over here.
i want to go that campfire – they even have bunting!

61-drgedhnl and we are still HUGE fans of the first Campfire album too.
i can’t say enough how much i love both these albums.



anwfam-768x1024 loved this Ninja Warrior idea stephanie did for her son’s birthday party!
wishing i had some little kiddos to plan a party like that!


how amazing is this artist?!
i have been in love with Starla Michelle‘s work for quite awhile and i think you can guess why!
sm1 rainbow chickens?!!  YES!
rainbow peacocks and rainbow ducks, blue jays & owls!
on her site there are so many more beautiful paintings to admire.
not just birds  🙂  she paints everything!

halfmann_starla_abadhairdayforamericacopy i absolutely LOVE this one of Hillary and Donald!
she is SO talented!  I love all her colors and the depth in all her paintings.
you can buy originals and prints of her work at
AND you can also find her designs at Anthropologie!

pumpkin-dream-cake-2-smi want this cake for dessert and breakfast!
pumpkin is just sooooo yummy.
i am not into the pumpkin spice latte that everyone else is… but cake?
gimme all the pumpkin cake.


this fake commercial made me LOL for real.
it’s seriously not that far off.
google is a crazy!

Whitni - I looove when you do your favorite things posts. Beautiful artwork!

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my october meals

i am feeling ON IT as far as meals this month.
(at least i feel it somewhere right????)

i used my PaperWorks meal planning calendar.
annie gave me some ideas of meals she was hoping to have and we got to it.

i thought i would link most of the recipes to help you meal plan too.
maybe something you haven’t tried?
maybe something you forgot was easy?
i am not saying that any of these are healthy… but they are meals that my family likes to eat.


Tortilla Soup

Dr. Pepper Pork

Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Grilled veggies

Chicken & Biscuits

Beefy Nacho Soup

Sloppy Joes

Sicilian Sauce & Pasta

Crockpot Honey Garlic Chicken

Pumpkin Waffles

Chicken Tortellini Soup

Chicken Enchiladas

Potato Soup

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches


Chicken in Parmesan with Sun Dried Tomato Sauce

and hey… moms of younger picky-eater kids… don’t give up hope!
my children were at one time the pickiest of eaters.
it has gotten so much better with age!
i think it will just keep getting better too!
there is a season of life beyond chicken nuggets and mac&cheese… i promise.
hang on.


You can subscribe to Paperworks and get meal calendars, grocery lists, chore charts, note cards, prints and extra fun goodies each month too.


Lisa - My peeps love your lasagna recipe!

KWolff - Thanks so much for this very timely post! We are still going strong with football/soccer/volleyball/orchestra/ROTC/dance/work that any menu suggestions are much appreciated. These all look like things I can fix and people can eat as they get in or out of the house. As much as I would love to sit down to dinner as a family it’s just not feasible right now. 🙁
So for the time being I’ll be satisfied just getting something good in their bellies! 🙂

Kimberly Dial - Thanks Meg! I’m gonna try several of these. I’m on that sweet potatoe and black bean chili immediately. Yummo! Thanks again for sharing!

GB Jost - Easy idea:

Every Wednesday night is “Breakfast Night”:

Eggs, bacon/sausage
Egg backed casserole with fruit

You get the idea…

Now that our kids are grown and doing their own meal planning, they also have Wednesday night “Breakfast Night.”

Ruth - Meg, Thank you so much for the dinner inspiration! I have made so many things you’ve suggested in the past because we have kiddos that nearly parallel your youngest 3 age and gender-wise! And I know what you suggest is something they will actually like…and it’s true, the older they become the more their tastes mature! Wahooo!!!!

carolyn - These look wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Must try those pumpkin waffles!

Kate @ Mom's Radius - I love this post! I just started planning my meals by month in September because I’m doing Whole 30. It’s making shopping, meal prep, and cooking so much easier. There’s no, “what should we have for dinner?” conversation. I am loving it!

Jennifer - I think home cooked meals are healthy. You are in control of what’s going into a meal. These all look and sound so delicious. I love that Annie worked on it with you. I’ve made the Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili…it is soooo good!

Sabrina - Thanks for the meal ideas! I always struggle in that area. I’m so glad to hear your once picky eaters are doing much better. I have three little boys that will hardly eat anything. It’s so frustrating. I just worry that they will miss out on all the delicious food out there because won’t eat anything. You give me hope. 🙂

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last week i got to get away for some girlfriend time.
it was just what i was needing!
i met up with my friend shannan  in nashville, tennesse.
her book “Falling Free” launched that week and her publisher is in nashville.
she was doing some press work with them and i just tagged along.

after arriving we took a nap.  seriously.
we are wild.
off the charts.

Shannan was speaking at an (In)Courage event that evening and i decided to join them too.
there was a panel discussion about friendship, then we chatted in small groups and made new friends.  🙂

the next morning shannan left early for book/work/promo stuff and i literally stayed in bed all day.
D R E A M Y!
(yes… i did bring my own mug! i knew i’d be in the room a lot, drinking lots of coffee and hotels either have teeny tiny mugs or paper cups.  so i thought ahead and threw a REAL size mug into my suitcase to help me relax even more!)
after Live with Kelly (& Chris Pratt) AND The Price is Right… i clicked around the local Nashville news channels and there she was!
Shannan cooked tacos on Today in Nashville & got to share about her book.
how fun is that?

after it aired i texted her “i just took 72 photos of your news cast!”
i wanted to be sure i got a good one!

that evening her publisher threw her a party at a very lovely restaurant called Adele’s.
i wish i’d taken 100 more photos but i didn’t.
doesn’t she look ga-ga-gorgeous in that vintage dress!?!
perfect choice!
it was so fun to get to celebrate her accomplishments and meet so many of her Nashville area friends!
and see some of my own!
so fun to get to sit with laura at dinner!!!
it was such a fun night!
i was so thrilled to be her plus one.

we goofed around in nashville the rest of the weekend doing more eating and talking.
we are pros at NOT finding the cool things to do in cool cities.
neither one of us like to plan or make decisions so we end up at a strip mall or mcdonalds or dairy queen.
no joke.
but who cares – all we want is time to talk & the tables at mcdonalds over a fountain Coke work just fine for that.
seriously though you do not want us to be your tour guides.
we’re terrible.
we did hit Anthropologie.
that store is so pretty and so awesome and so ridiculous all in one.
usually i leave empty handed but filled with inspiration!
inspired because of things like this – check out this quilt (below)
it’s P A P E R!!!
who thinks of this stuff?!!  who sews envelopes together to make a quilt?!
brilliant artists – that’s who!

our friend tara lives close by(ish) and came to join us for saturday night!
she IS a wonderful tour guide and found us great spots to eat and shop.
she saved the day!
tara always brings the laughter to any party.
i feel lucky to be her friend.
the three of us stayed up waaaay too late talking about everything imaginable while enjoying our stash of party food.

the goodbyes always come too soon.
AND i forgot to have shannan sign my book!

several times during the weekend i had moments of overwhelming gratitude to God for putting me with certain people at the perfect time.
i had some truly important DEEP talks with brand new friends that i NEEDED to have.
it blew me away with how specifically God was meeting my needs that i didn’t even voice out loud that i needed.
more than once i thought “wow God! thank you so much for this conversation! you really DO know my heart!” while the other person was still talking!
not to mention all the ways my “old” friends blessed me too!
i am a verbal processor and i needed several days to get allllll my words out – and processed.  😉


i felt loved by God in nashville.
(maybe that’s how everyone feels in nashville?! HA!)
that was not what i was expecting to get from that trip but i’m not complaining one bit.
so now…. the most important part of this post is this:

have you read Falling Free?

i loved it for so many reasons and i know you will too.
you can order it here on Amazon or it is available anywhere books are sold!

shannan – i am so proud of all the hard work you did to bring your words into the world.
you continue to be an example of humility, grace, wisdom and all with no frills.
i just like you so stinkin’ much.
the end.


Tessa - I just started reading “Falling Free” and I can’t wait to read more tonight after the littles are in bed. I found Shannan’s blog when she went to Ecuador with Ashley Campbell. Oh my goodness, she has rocked my world in every good way possible and I haven’t read her book yet. In some ways, it is like I have finally found a kindred spirit and in other ways, she is pushing me out of my comfort zone by reminding me about the simplicity and importance of loving thy neighbor. I also have to add that I could totally relate to not needing to see the “tourist attractions” and instead, just wanting to veg in a hotel room and talk over a soda at McD’s. Sounds absolutely wonderful! 🙂

Heather - That Flower Patch girl is the best!! I love her va va vintage dress!! Hey can I ask what paint color you have in your “new” house!!

jo - Shannon is stunning looking in that dress. What a humble lady. Wish her much success with the book. Looks like you had a lot of fun.

Laura - Love you!!!!

Su - So I just got the following email from my mil and then I see this post. Perhaps I should order the book, eh? Here is the email. Pass it onto Shannan; I am sure it will encourage her 🙂


I have a friend that I am anxious to tell you about who, in agreement with her husband and children, have made a decision to give up the life they have been living and step out in faith to follow Christ – the kind of stories that excite you. Part of their decision was confirmed by a book, “Falling Free”. Below are reviews of the book and her blog if you are interested. Maybe you are already familiar with her. mom

sharon / tpt - Geez how fun! Good on ya.
I follow you both. Have her book already:) You are great lights in the world. For reals.

and #anthropologyNeverwrong !!

Tiffany - Girl time, Girls Night Out, Girl Talk – Priceless!!

Stephanie L. Robertson - Hi Meg!
Enjoyed your post. Nashville is lots of fun.
Just two words: Nashville Flea Market! Oops, that was 3. Anyway, I live about an hour and a half south, so send me a msg the next time you guys all get together. Looks like so much fun!

Marcia (123 blog) - People on amazon are calling this book as “in the vein of Francis Chan’s Crazy Love” and that swayed me – I will buy it and I can’t wait to read.

SoCalLynn - I have read it and I love it. It has come at the perfect time for me as I am examining my existence and what I’m here for for the next 20 years. My youngest is graduating high school this year so that means I’m finished home schooling and I need to do something meaningful.

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september is over???

one of my top favorite summer/fall experiences is finding a sunflower field.
and some years i never do.
in case you don’t know… sunflowers are a crop that farmers plant like they would with wheat or corn or soybeans.
they are BEAUTIFUL but serve a purpose with their seeds.
“the seeds are used to make cooking oil, margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressings, snack food, hair oil, swine and poultry feed, fireplace logs and low-grade furnace fuel.” – i googled that.
they are always in different fields each year – which is why they can be hard to find.
i have yet to see sunflowers in the same field two summers in a row… but i don’t have the knowledge to explain exactly why that is.
it has to do with dirt and stuff.  (that’s a farmer-y word – “stuff”)
we get lots of questions when people come to kansas about sunflowers so i am just passing on my helpful info.
ha ha ha
talby was my willing model.
seriously though????
this was with my phone and the sun had just set.
i wish we’d taken it with the big camera 10 minutes earlier.

waffle is such a lover.

this super cute puffy vest is at Sam’s club!  whaaaat?!
and take a selfie for your friends in the feminine products & bread aisle like me!

donuts are my weakness…. they are just too pretty!!!

sean is about halfway through his football season.
i am actually starting to catch on to what is going on out there!

scotty stopped by one of talby’s volleyball games.
i was trying not to hug him TOO much.
but i can’t help myself.
the second time i went out to photograph the sunflower field i had a wonderful experience.
i was alone and walked out into the field about 50 feet maybe.
i was clicking away with my camera and i noticed a monarch fluttering around me.
then i stopped looking through my screen and looked at the field and there were butterflies EVERYWHERE!
it was so quiet.  the only sound was the leaves flapping, bees buzzing and butterflies wings flapping.
it felt like a dream.
garden spiders are so gross and so cool.
everyone says they are harmless but they still creep me out so much.
this one was all the way at the back of the yard by the chicken coop so i felt okay about it.
it was as big as my palm.
these yellow flowers are weeds/wildflowers that are 7 feet tall in the back yard.
and that sun really did look like that.
i had to edit it my photo a lot to get that to show up but that is pretty much exactly what my eyes saw!
fourwaffle was not in the mood for selfies.
hugs for scott after he stopped by the house for a haircut.  🙂

talby got to go to her first homecoming dance.
it’s been a long time since i have dressed shopped with a teen.
the thing i forgot is that the stores are full of other teens shopping as well.
and it’s loud.
and they slam their dressing room doors over and over.
and play music on their phones.
oy veh!
but it was fun to spend time with talby and find a pretty dress!

sean is in red… third one in that is bent down on the ground.
i don’t know his position.
i just know his number.
i focus on that.
“where’s #53?”  that is pretty much ALL i think about during his games.
it’s working for me.
waffle always prances around so happily after a haircut.

this pumpkin???
crazy town.
i bought it at sams when i bought that buffalo check vest.  🙂
i had a birthday last week.
my parents were visiting to help me celebrate.
i got my hair colored that day too!
i haven’t colored my hair for three years and made the decision to do it for some self care.
i remembered how much i like getting something new – a cut or a color – so i booked it.
i almost cancelled 20 different times.
money… time… upkeep… fear… energy….  but in the end i went!
it doesn’t look too different but it’s a little darker… with some red in there.
but it is shiny and fresh and healthy now and that feels great!
yay for self care!!!
my friend shelley sent me a box of rainbow frosted sugar cookies!
what in the world???
it was the sweetest gift!
i shared a few but i made sure i got the most!
i also got the most amazing vintage green polka dot quilt/blanket in the mail from a friend.
it was such a wild birthday surprise!
i couldn’t love it more!

and there was cake and candles and singing happy birthday of course.
forty one.
here’s hoping forty one is a year of learning and graciously accepting growth and change.
and lots of fun.
and losing 20 pounds and becoming a marathon runner/mountain climber/disco queen.
just kidding!


Melia - Happy birthday! What a fun post with beautiful snapshots of life around you 🙂 Blessings on year forty-one!

meg duerksen - andrea – that is a print from emily jeffords. Her work is amazing. google her! 🙂

Andrea - Meg….I love seeing pictures that you have taken…so colorful!!!! I love the sunflowers and loved your sunset picture. If you have the time, please share your resource for the picture in your kitchen shown over the gorgeous flowers (right)!!! thanks for sharing such colorful posts.

Kelly - Happy happy birthday! Such a fun post!!! Kelly

Michelle - I grabbed a vest and a pumpkin today. Love them both….thanks for the tips and happy belated birthday! Thank you for being a source of joy and color to the world! 🙂

Kimberly Dial - It’s been a while since I’ve actually sat down and deliberately did some serious blog reading. I always love your posts. Thanks for sharing 🙂

iralee barnett - A BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!! and those sunflowers….ahhhhh love!!!

Lori - Those cookies are the cutest and sweetest gift! And I love your hair- the color, cut, bang swoop, curls. It’s really pretty Meg 🙂

kelly - THAT BUFFALO CHECK VEST!!! Off to check our Sam’s tomorrow. Thank you!!!

Dana Powell - Happy belated birthday, Meg! I love your hair. I’ve been trying to figure out what color to do mine and I’m going to bring in this picture of you!

Sonja - I love your hair! I adore your blog and can read the same post a couple of times as the colors make me :)! Thank you for being real! Your pets are adorable too!

Lori Montgomery - Happy Belated Birthday! It looks like it was a wonderful day. I love the sunflower pictures especially the pic with the beautiful butterfly. I love a field of sunflowers! I found one close to my parents one summer. It was so beautiful I never wanted to look away. Thanks for sharing. 😀🌻

Kathi - Meg, you look beautiful! Your kids look happy. Waffle is such a dork 😉 The selfie with his eyes closed is perfect! Thanks for sharing!

Melissa - Meg, I always love your beautiful posts full of happy pictures but you SERIOUSLY HAVE to post a trigger warning or something before you post a spider like that again! I’m going to read the rest of your posts half-terrified that another spider picture is going to pop up!! And now I know I can never move to Oklahoma.(Only kind of kidding.)


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